Q: Why do we encourage a pre-surgery evaluation?

A: Each patient and procedure is unique and must be evaluated individually. The medical history is comprehensively reviewed to determine anesthesia and surgical risks, such as drug allergies, current medications, illnesses etc. The clinical examination includes a cancer screening and analysis of X-rays as well as a focused examination of the condition being addressed.

The proposed surgery and anesthesia techniques are discussed thoroughly with you and any alternative treatments are described as well. The pre-surgery evaluation also allows you the opportunity to share any concerns you may have concerning your procedure. Once there is a good understanding of what is involved with your treatment and the time needed to recover, we will schedule your procedure accordingly.

Q: Can I have the evaluation and surgery on the same day?

A: Yes, this can easily be done to accommodate your schedule. There is always a chance that we may not be able to proceed with treatment on the same day if circumstances arise during the consultation that make it best to schedule the surgery at a later time.

Q: Who places the IV needle?

A:  The doctor personally places the needle to start the IV. In most circumstances, the IV can be placed with minimal discomfort and is usually much less severe than anticipated by the patient.

Q:  What drugs are used for anesthesia?

A:  Each sedation is tailored for the individual patient. The drugs are in most cases administered via an intravenous route. Occasionally the doctor may elect to use an intramuscular route. Our office utilizes the most up-to-date medications to assure maximum safety while assuring patient comfort during the procedure. The drugs most commonly used are a combination of Fentanyl, Versed, and Brevital. Other drugs such as Propofol and Ketamine are occasionally used.

Q:  What kinds of monitors are used during surgery?

A: Hospital-quality, state-of-the-art vital sign monitors are used throughout the procedure and recovery. These include an automatic blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter (pulse and oxygen monitor), ECG (heart monitor), and End Tidal CO2 monitor.

Q:  What is a ‘dry socket’ and how do I prevent it?

A: ‘Dry socket’ is a tooth extraction socket that hurts longer and more severely than should be expected. The cause of dry sockets is multi-factorial. Certain conditions increase the risk of development of a dry socket. These are listed below.

  • Extractions in the lower back jaw
  • Smoking cigarettes or cigars
  • Females have double the risk compared to men
  • Women taking birth control
  • Surgical complexity increases the risk
  • Previous infections in the area
  • Medically compromised patients
  • Increased age increases the risk
  • Poor post-operative care such as aggressive rinsing or poor oral hygiene

Prevention: The doctor will help to prevent a dry socket as listed below

  • Pre-operative anti-microbial rinse
  • Gentle surgical care
  • Efficient (short) surgical time
  • Medications placed in the socket at the time of surgery
  • Post-operative antibiotics

What the patient can do to help prevent a dry socket

  • Decrease the bacteria in the surgical site by carefully but thoroughly brushing teeth. Be careful to avoid the sutures in the surgical site.
  • Avoid smoking for a minimum of 3 days.
  • Avoid any activity that could dislodge the forming blood clot. For the first 3 days, avoid sucking on a straw, spitting, irrigating, or swishing aggressively.

If pain persists or increases after 3 to 4 days, please call the office, since this may indicate the presence of a dry socket.

Q: How can I take care of my teeth in between dental checkups?

A: Do not forget to brush your teeth, at least, two times a day (2 minutes each time). Floss at least once a day!
Use only fluoride-containing toothpaste. Ask your dentist if you also might need a fluoride rinse. This will prevent any cavities in the future!

  • Avoid sugary drinks, foods and cigarettes as much as possible. These harms the overall immunity of your mouth stain your teeth badly.
  • When brushing teeth, brush your tongue as well! By doing so you will remove food particles and reduce the amount of mouth bacteria.
  • Tongue brushing will make your breath much fresher!
  • Be sure to schedule your regular, routine check-ups. It is recommended to check your teeth at least twice a year or even more often.

Q: Whom do we call if there is a problem?

A: A doctor is available for emergency consultation 24/7 (24 hours a day, seven days a week). You can call the office number, 719-590-1500, at any time. If the office is closed, the answering service will page the doctor who will return your call as soon as possible. The alternative number is 719-528-3109.

Q: How long do I need to be off from work or school?

A: Most patients will want to take off the day of surgery and the following day. The time required off from school or work varies and is directly related to the complexity of your treatment. The difficulty of your case will be assessed by your doctor and communicated with you. Each individual responds differently to surgery, and some individuals may occasionally require one or two additional days more than the usual number of recovery days.

Q: How much will my care cost?

A: The fees for service vary with the surgical complexity and anesthesia time. The office staff will provide you with a detailed estimate after the consultation visit.

Q: Will my insurance cover the recommended treatment?

A: Insurance is a benefit to help assist you in paying for the cost of your treatment. What is or is not covered, and how much the insurance will pay toward the cost of our care varies greatly between insurance companies and plans. The majority of recommended treatment is covered by most insurance providers. There are occasionally procedures that are recommended as the treatment of choice in optimizing the patient’s health that is not covered by the insurance coverage. In most cases, the patient will be responsible for a portion of the total cost of treatment.

Our staff will assist you by filing your insurance claim and making sure that the insurance company pays properly for the covered treatment rendered. You have the obligation to pay for treatment. You must remember that insurance coverage is a contract between you and the insurance company – not between the insurance company and the doctor. The doctor has little control over the insurance company and its policies.

Q: What insurance companies do we participate with?

A: The following:

  • Delta Dental
  • Metlife
  • United Concordia
  • Dentamax
  • Humana
  • Connection Dental
  • Guardian
  • Medicaid
  • GEHA
  • Kaiser

Q: Do you have financing available?

A: We at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Specialists do all we can to help patients obtain financing for their recommended treatment. Our staff is skilled at assisting the patient in obtaining coverage through third-party institutions such as CareCredit. You can fill out a short application and qualify for assistance. There are multiple flexible plans based on your specific needs.

Q: What are your privacy practices for my protected health information?

A: We follow HIPPA compliance rules in assuring that your records remain private. If you would like to see the details of our privacy policy, written copies of the policy are made available for you at the consultation or treatment visit.

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